07 April 2009

Liverpool v Chelsea 04.08.09

2:45pm on espn2

Stupid Wednesday games. Another one for the DVR. Will probably have a review up by 8pm or so local time.

Knockout Rounds:
Liverpool: 4-0 Real (h); 1-0 Real (a)
Chelsea: 2-2 Juve (a); 1-0 Juve (h)

Group Stage:
Liverpool: 3-1 PSV (a); 1-0 Marseille (h); 1-1 Atletico (h); 1-1 Atletico (a); 3-1 PSV (h); 2-1 Marseille (a)
Chelsea: 2-1 Cluj (h); 1-1 Bordeaux (a); 1-3 Roma (a); 1-0 Roma (h); 0-0 Cluj (a); 4-0 Bordeaux (h)

Last 3 matches:
Liverpool: 1-0 Fulham (a); 5-0 Villa (h); 4-1 United (a)
Chelsea: 2-0 Newcastle (a); 0-1 Spurs (a); 1-0 City (h)

Goalscorers (Europe):
Liverpool: Gerrard 7; Kuyt 2; Dossena, Babel, Benayoun, Ngog, Riera, Torres 1
Chelsea: Drogba 3; Anelka, Terry 2; J Cole, Essien, Kalou, Lampard, Malouda 1

Referee: Claus Bo Larsen (DEN)

Guess at a squad
Arbeloa Carragher Skrtel Aurelio
Lucas Alonso
Kuyt Gerrard Riera

These two teams met in the semi-final in 2005, 2007, and 2008, as well as in the group stage in 2006. I reckon it’s just not the Champions League without a Liverpool/Chelsea match-up.

Riera returns from a one-game ban, but Mascherano, who missed Saturday’s match, is suspended. Which means Lucas should get a second consecutive start after a patient, composed display against Fulham. Once again, maybe we’ll get Aurelio in midfield, with Dossena at left back (as Insua isn’t in the CL squad), but I think that’s the less likely option. Otherwise, the line-up basically writes itself.

Liverpool beat Real 4-0 by keeping them on the back foot from the off. Chelsea may not be as overwhelmed by Anfield, having visited so often in the past few years, but Liverpool will still need to jump on them when the whistle blows. Given past history between these two sides, a cagey, midfield battle is probably expected. Fuck that. Take advantage of being at Anfield and any early nerves. The pace in the first 30 minutes of the game is what led to the big victories over Real, United, and Villa.

I would really have preferred to see the second leg at Anfield, but of course, I would have preferred to avoid English opposition all together. The fact that Liverpool did the double over the Blues means little here, and probably gives Chelsea more ammunition.

But this is the Champions League. Where Liverpool has consistently been the best team over the past 4-5 years. Let’s see it again.


Mike Georger said...

It's an absolute joke that the team with the highest coefficient doesn't get the home games after the first knockout round.

steven. said...

we need to start in a big way .. if we come out flying the same we did against Real, we'll take it to them .. we need a good 2 goal cushion going into the Bridge .. Rafa is a master of the 2 legged draw but we need a "leg" to stand on ..

Neel said...

well the seemingly obvious ploy rafa has been plotting will be to have a go at the chelsea right flank...

with riera and aurelio fit after not really playing much internationally and against fulham they'll have a real go down that side... the pace is what its all about!

actually i would like to see gerrard rested for the 1st half and benayoun playing... :)

irfaanfr said...


Gage said...

If he's' fully healthy I might like to see Benayoun start instead of Lucas.

Mike Georger said...

What an embarrassment.

Mike Georger said...

(notice I didn't threaten to kill anyone like after last years game though, I'm making progress!)